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Originally appeared in California Quarterly
Spring/Summer 1991, No. 35/36

Hungry for control,
the dangfool god
gouges his own eye out
and drops it in the seedy well.


Then he gulps down
the thick stew Mimir has ladled out for him:
pond scum, decomposing bird--
not pure by a long shot
but the usual for neglected wells.


"I don't think I'm any smarter,"
Odin says, the throbbing in his esophagus
finally subsiding. Mimir shrugs
and counsels patience.
Sure enough,
at dawn some days later,
there is dew for the first time.


Those awake at such an hour
wonder what large thing has spent the night crying.
And some centuries hence,
Christians will suspect dew-drops are angel-eggs.
But for Odin they are new eyes
and he sees the dawn
for everywhere at once.